Friday, November 14, 2014

REVIEW: Renovatio

The Antithesis 1:
Terra Whiteman

Genre: Science Fiction, Grimdark, Dystopian
Publisher: 1889 Labs Ltd
Publication date: 7.8.2011
Pages: 450

Recommended by: Sage's Blog Tours, Read 2 Review
Date read: 11.13.2014

Summary: Civil war between demons and angels lies just on the horizon.  
            Alezair Czynri, member of the Purgatory Jury, is thrown into a world of murder, exploitation, chemical substances, betrayal and bureaucratic red tape as he and his court attempt to diffuse escalating conflicts.
            Yet things are not as they seem.  Ever since his induction into the Celestial Court, Alezair has been treated with cool indifference by the Justice Commander, Leid Koseling.  A former prisoner of the Nexus Initiative, Justice Czynri exists without any memories of his former life, the consequences of being a slave merc for hire.
            But purgatory is strangely familiar, and slowly little pieces start coming back.  There might be a good reason why Alezair's boss keeps him at arm's length.

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This is an interesting look at the war that goes on between angels and demons - and the people that keep them in check, making sure that they play by the rules.

"This is a story about God and the devil,
but not how you were taught to believe.
This is also a story bout love and hate,
and the suffering both can bring.
This is about rights and wrongs and all of the spaces in between -
Revenge, courage, death, passion; with no villains, no heroes.
Only those left scorned.
This is the story about Heaven, Hell
and the Jury that holds them together.
This is the Antithesis."

That is the way the book begins, but not the story.  (I figured what better way to explain it than with the author's own words, the words that caught my attention and pulled me into a story I had a hard time putting down).  The story begins with Alezair, a mercenary for hire with the Nexus Initiative, finding himself in the middle of a human war.  But he is not the only non-human in the fray - and he follows her, trying to find out the answers to several questions.  Following her means he's gone rogue and the Nexus take away his powers ... and his memories.

I like the characters.  They are each unique and interesting.  But also immature, which is odd for the power that they have and the amount of time they have been alive.  At different times I am frustrated by their child-like behavior.  I do like how they are described, though.  The author does a great job at explaining them to the reader.  He also does a great job including information without it feeling like an info dump or a class lecture.  

The story is interesting and different.  The action and events leading to Alezair becoming a part of the Celestial Court are pretty exciting ... and a bit terrifying.  As with all books, there are the high parts and the low parts.  The high parts are great, but there are moments when the low parts are a bit boring, but still the story flowed and I continued reading, wanting to know more.

I think the author did a good job and I can't wait to read more of this series.

Favorite character: Alezair.  Even though he gets on my nerves at times, I like his sarcasm and his openness to learn (just not be bored).  I think he has a lot of things going on with him and that he does grow as the story goes on.  Had he remained stagnant and the way he was for the first 100 years of being part of the jury, I don't think I would have liked him as much, though.

Favorite line: "Souls are actually packets of data stored within each and every cell of their creations.  It's in their DNA.  The celestials made this part of their intelligent design.  When an individual dies, the data is transmitted back here, and we're able to recover the information pertaining to their death, along with a record of how they'd lived their lives prior to death."

About the author:
Terra Whitman is a clinical scientist who writes dystopian science fiction in her spare time.  Her life is a dish of pipettes, refractometers and immunoassays, heavily seasoned with grimdark worlds and their battlegrounds.  She's profane, opinionated, and if you met her, you'd think she's really weird.

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